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Warren Youth Coach Faces Federal Child Porn Charges

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WARREN (WWJ) - A Warren youth coach says he was just trying to “identify” children in child pornography that the FBI discovered on his personal computer.

Now, Mark Allen Mitchell is facing federal charges after federal agents uncovered nearly 200 child porn videos.

According to a criminal complaint, Mitchell, who  coaches co-ed youth sports for the Police Athletic League (PAL), admitted in an interview that he searched for, downloaded and viewed the porn. He said he downloaded the videos to his computer so he could see if he identified any of the children as being those he coached in the league. He said if he recognized one of the kids, he would be report it to law enforcement.

The complaint alleges one of the video files found showed a man having sex with an 8-year-old girl.

- View a copy of the criminal complaint (.pdf format) -

Former FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena says the FBI takes the issue of online child porn very seriously.

“That’s a huge problem right now, with chat rooms and different places on the Internet that attract children,” Arena told WWJ’s Charlie Langton.  “You’ve got to parent; you’ve got to really be on your kids and know what they’re doing at all times, because they’re going to be targeted.

“If they’re on the Internet, and they’re in chat rooms, they are going to be targeted by these perverts,” Arena said.

Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green told WDIV-TV that Mitchell last coached football in the fall of 2012.  He coached both boys and girls ages 10-12 years old.  Green said that Mitchell had volunteered to coach with PAL for the past 6 years.

Mitchell’s computer was seized and will undergo forensic analysis.

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